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How does Motherboard & CPU impact Sim Performance

I have a computer with the following:
  • RTX 3080-Ti
  • i7-8700K
  • Z370 AORUS GAMING 7-OP (rev. 1.0)
  • ORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 4000MHz (PC4-32000)
  • SAMSUNG 970 EVO SSD 2TB - M.2 NVMe
I am running triple 1440p displays. I am happy with the sim performance of my computer however more is always better. I am curious if any significant (10+ FPS) additional performance gains can be achieved with CPU, motherboard, or RAM changes? I am not overclocking anything, how much FPS am I leaving on the table by not overclocking?

Thanks for the feedback.
 
1628236617705.png


That's testing I did a while back.
 

RasmusP

Premium
As you can see from Robert's chart, overclocking your cpu makes the biggest difference! Since you already have 4000 mhz ram, changing that won't make much of a difference.

You're saying that you don't have your 8700k overclocked yet.
So on average your cores are at around 4.4 GHz, fluctuating up and down.
From my experience with 9600k and 10600k, locking all cores at a high clock not only gives more fps, but also more consistent fps.

I think your cpu should be able to easily hit 4.8 GHz on all cores. Lots of guides out there for the Intel CPUs from 8-10th gen (they're all the same basically...).

Basically:
- lock your voltages at defaults (type in the default value that should show next to the "auto").
- then activate "mce" = multicore enhancement. Asus boards can also lock all cores at the same clock. It's another setting.
Often mce raises voltage and some other stuff which is why you should lock them before!

- then put all cores to 4.8 GHz

- maximum 24/7 vcore should not exceed 1.35v

Then testing is needed for stability.
Most CPUs have some plateau/sweetspot where the next higher clockspeed needs a lot more vcore.
Or a sweetspot where you have a nice clockspeed but can lower the vcore quite a lot.

I would start with 4.8 at 1.32v and see if that's stable.
A great cpu would do 4.8 at 1.30v or 5.0 at 1.34v.

About your question:
The motherboard can only help to get the cpu more stable or higher ram clocks stable but from my experience it's no guarantee.
Mostly you only need expensive motherboards for features or when you have the highest end cpu and want to overclock it.
There's a big difference between a 10600k without heavy power peaks and the short boosts of a 10900k with 60% more cores and the new boosting technology.

So motherboards don't necessarily give any fps at all. But they need to suit your needs and the power drain (or the aggressiveness if the power peaks) of the cpu.





What you should do before overclocking or anything:
Open Taskmanager, go to the performance tab and click on the graphics card chart.
(the load while not gaming isn't true. It scales with the frequency so 60% load at only 200 mhz in desktop mode equals almost no load at all in 3d mode at 1900 mhz).

Then go into your sim, drive a few laps in a scenario where you'd like more fps.

Then quickly check the Taskmanager chart and see if the 3080ti hit 90% load or more.
If yes, then your 3080ti is the limiting factor.

If it's below 90% it's probably your cpu (and ram).
But it could also be some engine limitation, fps limiter, vsync etc.
 
As you can see from Robert's chart, overclocking your cpu makes the biggest difference! Since you already have 4000 mhz ram, changing that won't make much of a difference.

You're saying that you don't have your 8700k overclocked yet.
So on average your cores are at around 4.4 GHz, fluctuating up and down.
From my experience with 9600k and 10600k, locking all cores at a high clock not only gives more fps, but also more consistent fps.

I think your cpu should be able to easily hit 4.8 GHz on all cores. Lots of guides out there for the Intel CPUs from 8-10th gen (they're all the same basically...).

Basically:
- lock your voltages at defaults (type in the default value that should show next to the "auto").
- then activate "mce" = multicore enhancement. Asus boards can also lock all cores at the same clock. It's another setting.
Often mce raises voltage and some other stuff which is why you should lock them before!

- then put all cores to 4.8 GHz

- maximum 24/7 vcore should not exceed 1.35v

Then testing is needed for stability.
Most CPUs have some plateau/sweetspot where the next higher clockspeed needs a lot more vcore.
Or a sweetspot where you have a nice clockspeed but can lower the vcore quite a lot.

I would start with 4.8 at 1.32v and see if that's stable.
A great cpu would do 4.8 at 1.30v or 5.0 at 1.34v.

About your question:
The motherboard can only help to get the cpu more stable or higher ram clocks stable but from my experience it's no guarantee.
Mostly you only need expensive motherboards for features or when you have the highest end cpu and want to overclock it.
There's a big difference between a 10600k without heavy power peaks and the short boosts of a 10900k with 60% more cores and the new boosting technology.

So motherboards don't necessarily give any fps at all. But they need to suit your needs and the power drain (or the aggressiveness if the power peaks) of the cpu.





What you should do before overclocking or anything:
Open Taskmanager, go to the performance tab and click on the graphics card chart.
(the load while not gaming isn't true. It scales with the frequency so 60% load at only 200 mhz in desktop mode equals almost no load at all in 3d mode at 1900 mhz).

Then go into your sim, drive a few laps in a scenario where you'd like more fps.

Then quickly check the Taskmanager chart and see if the 3080ti hit 90% load or more.
If yes, then your 3080ti is the limiting factor.

If it's below 90% it's probably your cpu (and ram).
But it could also be some engine limitation, fps limiter, vsync etc.
Thank you for the great reply. I will definitely utilize your input and report back.

I am camping at Road America this weekend so maybe this coming week.

My CPU has a decent water cooler on it and my case is nicely ventilated so I hope the overclouding is easy.
 
As you can see from Robert's chart, overclocking your cpu makes the biggest difference! Since you already have 4000 mhz ram, changing that won't make much of a difference.

You're saying that you don't have your 8700k overclocked yet.
So on average your cores are at around 4.4 GHz, fluctuating up and down.
From my experience with 9600k and 10600k, locking all cores at a high clock not only gives more fps, but also more consistent fps.

I think your cpu should be able to easily hit 4.8 GHz on all cores. Lots of guides out there for the Intel CPUs from 8-10th gen (they're all the same basically...).

Basically:
- lock your voltages at defaults (type in the default value that should show next to the "auto").
- then activate "mce" = multicore enhancement. Asus boards can also lock all cores at the same clock. It's another setting.
Often mce raises voltage and some other stuff which is why you should lock them before!

- then put all cores to 4.8 GHz

- maximum 24/7 vcore should not exceed 1.35v

Then testing is needed for stability.
Most CPUs have some plateau/sweetspot where the next higher clockspeed needs a lot more vcore.
Or a sweetspot where you have a nice clockspeed but can lower the vcore quite a lot.

I would start with 4.8 at 1.32v and see if that's stable.
A great cpu would do 4.8 at 1.30v or 5.0 at 1.34v.

About your question:
The motherboard can only help to get the cpu more stable or higher ram clocks stable but from my experience it's no guarantee.
Mostly you only need expensive motherboards for features or when you have the highest end cpu and want to overclock it.
There's a big difference between a 10600k without heavy power peaks and the short boosts of a 10900k with 60% more cores and the new boosting technology.

So motherboards don't necessarily give any fps at all. But they need to suit your needs and the power drain (or the aggressiveness if the power peaks) of the cpu.





What you should do before overclocking or anything:
Open Taskmanager, go to the performance tab and click on the graphics card chart.
(the load while not gaming isn't true. It scales with the frequency so 60% load at only 200 mhz in desktop mode equals almost no load at all in 3d mode at 1900 mhz).

Then go into your sim, drive a few laps in a scenario where you'd like more fps.

Then quickly check the Taskmanager chart and see if the 3080ti hit 90% load or more.
If yes, then your 3080ti is the limiting factor.

If it's below 90% it's probably your cpu (and ram).

But it could also be some engine limitation, fps limiter, vsync etc.
I followed the guide at the link below. Computer seems to be running well.

I tried the ACC and I maybe picked up 1-3 fps with the overclocked CPU. I looked at the task manager and it looks like I am GPU limited (90%+ 3D).

Thanks for the help. Below is a snip from CPU-Z, does this look correct?

YouTube Overclocking Guide

Capture.JPG
 

RasmusP

Premium
I followed the guide at the link below. Computer seems to be running well.
The "guide" is okay. He doesn't go into details like actually showing the active voltage under load, show temperatures or anything.
But as long as it's running and below 1.35v in the bios, it's fine!

My issue with this guide is that he recommends to put all fans to 100% and disable all energy saving features (speed stepping and the c states).
Not an issue in many countries I guess but in Germany, energy is quite expensive (0.32€ per kWh).
I'd rather sacrifice 100 MHz and have my cpu dropping to 800 MHz at idle with a lot lower voltage than squeezing the very last bit out of it but having the 2-3x power consumption while not gaming.

Depending on how much your pc is running while not gaming, it makes a huge difference.
I tried the ACC and I maybe picked up 1-3 fps with the overclocked CPU. I looked at the task manager and it looks like I am GPU limited (90%+ 3D).
Yeah that looks like the graphics card is the bottleneck.
Would be interesting though if your minimum fps during race starts are a lot better now.
That's where my fps are dropping (cpu limit) ! When I'm driving alone, my graphics card becomes the limit.
Thanks for the help. Below is a snip from CPU-Z, does this look correct?
Looks good!
Can you post a Screenshot if the memory tab too?



However you should look for a video explaining Hwinfo64 and check the vcore while gaming. Especially the max vcore!

Simple guide: download, install (they have their own homepage but it's also hosted on many pc websites).
Then run. In the launcher select "sensors only". Little checkbox. That's important or you'll get a big window with other stuff :p

Then you'll have a full on overload of sensor stats. It really reads out anything available!

I'll check where the vcore can be found and reply again. Or you watch a guide.

There are basically 3 voltages:
VID = what Intel coded into the cpu to take as auto-vcore at certain clock speeds. This is mostly way too high at lower clock speeds and then becomes too low at highest overclocks. It doesn't say anything useful though

Vcore = what the Mainboard reports as vcore

And then there's some voltage that's basically the reporting output of the VRMs.
Many say that this is the actual vcore, since this is what gets sent to the cpu.
It's always lower than the reported vcore and I don't fully trust this. But it's nice to check haha.
I'll come back with the name later...

And how are you temperatures? Max temp can be read from Hwinfo64 too.
 
Thanks again for the information. My computer ended up crashing in ACC after a couple laps of Spa. I changed the vcore to 1.33 and tried again. I was able to finish a 20 minute ACC race free of system crashes.

Below is my memory tab and updated CPU tab.

I think I will start over with the overclocking settings. I am planning to reset my Bios and try your suggestions. Is there a nice overclocking guide you would recommend?

I also downloaded the hwinfo utility to aid in tracking system performance. Below is a link to a simple log file of my computer while I am writing this note.

Dropbox Link to HWiNFO log file

Capture.JPG


Capture2.JPG
 
Last edited:

RasmusP

Premium
Thanks again for the information. My computer ended up crashing in ACC after a couple laps of Spa. I changed the vcore to 1.33 and tried again. I was able to finish a 20 minute ACC race free of system crashes.
CPU-Z vcore is often accurate but sometimes not. The issue is that it fluctuates with the loadline calibration quite a lot. Short peaks of up to 1.4 volts aren't really an issue but the average vcore shouldn't exceed 1.35v.
I see you had 1.27v in your first screenshot and now set 1.33 in the bios and cpu-z now also shows 1.33.
5 GHz at 1.27v for an 8700k seems very low. Interesting that you could even do SOME laps!

Nice to hear that it's stable now!
I think I will start over with the overclocking settings. I am planning to reset my Bios and try your suggestions. Is there a nice overclocking guide you would recommend?
Hmm, you don't really need to reset your bios! But you can, ofc.
The issue with guides is that each motherboard has different names for the same things. Super annoying and the descriptions never tell you what's really what.

I personally would always keep all power saving features enabled and use adaptive vcore with a manual offset for the maximum power state.
In my Gigabyte z490 gaming-x, it's called "adaptive" and I then have the vcore set to "normal" but put in a -60 offset.

If you want: Do a video or take a lot of photos from your bios and throw them in a dropbox folder. I'll have a look at what to change to what. Your Z370 Aorus should have similar settings to my Gigabyte board!

Basically:
You have to try different settings and check in hwinfo64 what's happening...
I always use msi kombustor to simulate CPU loads. You can click on "CPU burner" and then select the amount of "Full Load threads" you wanna create.
Simracing titles can be simulated with 3 and 4 threads.

Here's a general z370 guided though, sadly for ASUS. Different names etc... But most things make sense when you compare it to your own bios!
One thing Gigabyte doesn't have, afaik:
"CPU Core Ratio: Sync All Cores". This can only be achieved via "MultiCore Enhancement", which sadly changes voltages, Powerlimits etc. on some Boards!

Some notes about the guide:

- Load line level 6 out of 7: It's "Turbo" at Gigabyte. Maximum settings always cause massive voltage spikes!

- Power Limits: keep them at default! Simracing doesn't use all cores so you won't run into any power limits anyway! Only when the game loads it might run into it. I personally have my 10600k limited to 90W. This throttles the CPU if a game loads using all cores or when I'm rendering stuff. I don't care about a few seconds longer wait time but this keeps the temperature spikes a LOT lower!!! I have my fans set up very silent and only ramping up and down slowly and steadily. If I unlock the power limits, my CPU will instantly run up to 100°c and throttle down. With the limit at 90W, my big fat air cooler can passively keep the temperature below 90°c until the fans spin up to then keep it at around 82°c.

- He uses a fixed vcore of 1.35v. As I said, I would recommend some variable settings with manual offset to save power in idle.

- High performance power plan in Windows: This keeps the CPU from clocking down in idle. I created a batch file that changes to high performance when I run it (double click) and keeps the cmd window open. When I hit any key in the cmd window, it will kill itself and set the power plan to "balanced".
Whenever I start gaming, I just execute the batch and when I'm done, I click into the open cmd window, hit a key and back to power saving :)

The little "downclocks in idle" can happen during simracing since not all cores are used. Sadly, these mini downclocks can cause little micro stutters! Not necessarily, but they can.

Why I need Multi Core Enhancement ON: When I manually put all turbo clocks to 49 and activate the high performance power plan, single cpu cores tend to clock down for short moments. With MCE active, all cores are synced so the single cores can't clock down anymore.

OC Guide starts at 5:00

And here's something about Skylake (6th gen) from the same der8auer guy. He's one of the best overclockers in the world and always gives reasonable and well known advice!
Sadly it's in German... The voltage image, which is the most useful in there, should be universal though and google translator should work well enough for the technical stuff!

Here's the voltage image implemented via link:
skylake_voltages-png.843927


I also downloaded the hwinfo utility to aid in tracking system performance. Below is a link to a simple log file of my computer while I am writing this note.

Dropbox Link to HWiNFO log file
- Core VID: Interesting. As you can see, it's like I guessed: 1.41-1.44 avg!

- Core temperatures: did you run any sim while hwinfo64 was loggin? avg temp of 33°c doesn't look like you were. Sadly the maximum temperatures aren't in the chart or are they the values in "Core Max"? I'm not used to reading the CSV output :roflmao:

- Voltages:
- Vcore is in there, great. That's the important one. Check the min/max/avg. You can see if the loadline and the adaptive/variable offset works correctly. Mine shows min=0.684v / max=1.332v / avg=1.19v

- I would recommend to do the bios reset, load the XMP ram profile, then go into hwinfo64, put the kombustor cpu burner for 10 seconds to 2 threads, 4 threads, 6 threads, 10 threads, 12 threads to simulate different loads. Take a screenshot of all the other voltages (+3.3, 12v, vccssa etc).
Then activate multicore enhancements, put the multiplier to 50 and (if your bios is the same like mine) the vcore mode to adaptive, vcore normal and an offset at -0.1v (or 100, if it's in mV). This should drop the VID "auto" vcore to around 1.34v.
Loadline to Turbo.
Keeps the rest at "auto"!

Do the same load simulation via Kombustor and look at hwinfo64. Are the voltages all the same like without MCE? If yes, great. If not, put them manually to how they were before MCE!

- the "real" vcore some people talk about from the VRMs is "VR VOUT" in "HM" in the CSV file. As you can see, it's only 1.312v so a bit lower. Since you're stable at 5 GHz below 1.35v it's not interesting anyway though...



4000 CL19, nice! :thumbsup:
Looks good!
 
Thanks once again for the valuable information. Below are the stats after about 30 minutes of sim racing. The computer seems to be very stable. The GPU seems to be the hottest point in the case at 87°C.

Does this seem optimized? Should I try a lower CPU voltage?

Part 0.JPG

Part 1.JPG

Part 2.JPG

Part 3.JPG
 

RasmusP

Premium
Looks all very good!
I wouldn't test a lower cpu vcore, since your maximum temperature is really good at 71°c. So in theory you don't need to lower it!
You can experiment, ofc. But I'd rather activate the C states again, speedstep and make the vcore adaptive to let it go down in idle.
Doesn't look like you did this already?

Then there's max temp of the gpu... Memory is okay (it throttles at 110°c but won't take damage or anything and below 100°c is totally fine) , but the core temp is a bit hot at 87°c.

EDIT: Forget what I said.. Just had a look in hwinfo64 for my 3080: Afterburner shows 71°c GPU temp, hwinfo64 shows 88.1°c for "GPU Hot Spot Temp"... (And 92°c for memory junction).
So you should be fine! Sorry for the false alarm!!

I mean almost 400w is a lot of power but the fans then simply should go to 100% instead of just 80% max.

Also, I would highly recommend to undervolt your 3080 ti. Easily 80-100w less on average, while not being in the power limit all the time so you'd probably even gain fps!

To see what's limiting the gpu, unflap the "gpu performance limits". They can either be no or yes. I'm sure most of the time, the power limit is "yes".

In msi afterburner, the limits will be 0 or 1.

You want the "no load" or "utilization limit" to be the active one.

Just talked a friend through it.
Basically:
- msi afterburner latest beta from guru3d
- ctrl+F
- press and keep shift, click on the highest point of the curve and drag it down to 1700-1750 mhz, lift the left mouse key and then the shift key
- now find the one point at 806 mV
- drag this point to 1800 mhz
- keep the point/graph window open, click on the apply button on the afterburner main window. It's the one with the little "check hook" in it

- the point graph will change completely... It's normal.. These points just won't do what you want...

- repeat dragging the 806 mV point to around 1800 mhz and hit apply until that point is the highest point, while all points after that one are a flat line!

- if the graph just won't do what you want, repeat dragging the highest point down to 1700 mhz while holding the shift key
- then drag 806 mV to 1800 mhz again

1800 MHz @ 806mV is what most ampere cards can do. If some games are unstable (the game can crash or hang up, the Nvidia driver can crash or you can get a bluescreen. In this order of "severity of unstable"):
Either go higher with the mV, like 830mV for 1800 mhz or you go lower with the clockspeeds (drag all points down, drag the 806 mV only to 1780 mhz etc).


Since you need the maximum performance of your card, you could also try to get something like 860 mV at 1950 MHz to be stable.

Here's a good video about it:

 
Last edited:

RasmusP

Premium
Oh I noticed that the video doesn't show how to get the "old" afterburner skin. For some reason the latest versions have this new layout, which no one uses...

Click on the settings button:
New_Standard_Skin.jpg


(Activate Voltage Monitoring), then navigate to the right:
Settings_start_page.jpg


User Interface: Change the skin to the MSI Cyborg Afterburner skin White by Drerex Design:
Change_Skin.jpg

Now you have the skin that everyone else uses:
Old_Standard_Skin.jpg


Now to actually see stuff in the monitoring: Detach the monitoring window:
Detach_Monitoring.jpg


Here's how that looks like then (it's ALWAYS in the foreground at default. Rightclick into the monitoring and you can change that :)
Monitoring.jpg
 

RasmusP

Premium
EDIT: Forget what I said about GPU temperature!
Just had a look in hwinfo64 for my 3080: Afterburner shows 71°c GPU temp, hwinfo64 shows 88.1°c for "GPU Hot Spot Temp"... (And 92°c for memory junction).
So you should be fine! Sorry for the false alarm!!
 
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